“Hey Sweetie” A Celebration of Life - Dr. Jesse R. Peel
The Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center will host a Celebration of Life for Dr. Jesse R. Peel on Saturday, February 24 at 3 pm in the Ballroom of ECU’s Main Campus Student Center (501 E. Tenth Street). A meal will be served following the program. The public is invited to attend. RSVP is requested.
Born on March 8, 1940 in Everetts, North Carolina, Jesse lived a life marked by activism, advocacy, compassion and charity. A friend to many and a stranger to none, Jesse traveled the world and reveled in the photography that captured his adventures around the globe. He earned his MD at the UNC School of Medicine in 1965 and went on to a career in psychiatry. As a lieutenant in the Medical Corps of the United States Navy, he completed tours of duty in Vietnam and Okinawa, Japan. Upon returning to home, he eventually accepted a position at a psychiatric practice in Atlanta in 1976 and subsequently began to tailor his outpatient practice to treat men living with HIV/AIDS. He was at the forefront of grassroots organizing to develop community-based HIV/AIDS resources. He was active on many boards in Atlanta including AID Atlanta, the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, Positive Impact, Lost N Found Youth, and Actor’s Express.
Jesse embraced his father’s belief that East Carolina University represented the future of eastern North Carolina. His own philanthropic support of the university and its mission included the J. Woolard Peel Scholarship in the Honors College and the J. Woolard and Helen Peel Distinguished Professorship in Religious Studies, as well as designated funds for the Brody School of Medicine and the College of Education’s Rural Education Institute. His pride and joy was the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center, the largest center of its kind in the 16-campus UNC system.
In Atlanta, a service will be held on Saturday, January 27 at 2 pm at Saint Mark United Methodist Church, 781 Peachtree Street.